NW Collaborative
Futures Conference

Deconstructing Artificial Borders

OCT 20-22, 2021 – ONLINE 


Opening Night Presentation:
Wednesday, Oct 20, 2021
Register Here for Free!

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm (PDT) via webinar

Thursday and Friday
Oct 21 and 22, 2021

Day 1: 9am – 8pm (PDT) via webinar
Day 2: 9am – 4pm (PDT) via webinar

October 21, 2021

October 21, 2021

9:00 – 10:00 AM PDT

Opening Prayer (9:00 am to 9:05 am)
Shelia Williams — Tsawwassen First Nation

Welcome and Land Acknowledgement (9:05 to 9:15)

Sharon Sutherland — Mediate BC, Vancouver
Darsey Meredith — CoRe Conflict Resolution Society, Vancouver

“Deconstructing Artificial Borders”  (9:10 am to 9:50 am)
Tony Penikett  – Former Yukon Premier and polar research advisor

Tony Penikett will speak about the challenges in building understanding around treaties and also the ongoing work of bringing together polar communities, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, for collaborative action on climate change.

Interviewer: Christina Gray — JFK Law Corporation, Vancouver

10:10 – 10:45 AM PDT
Stream A

Police Reform Legislation and its Impact on Arbitration

with Mike Sellers

10:10 – 10:45 AM PDT
Stream B

The Kenyan Pavilion
6-minute presentations from Fellows of the 2021 Wasilianahub Fellowship

Hosted by Emily Martin

Christine Ndilo Kakyema
Christine Kipsang
Minnie Mang’eli
Alex Nyingi
Sellah Rutto
Pauline Wahinya
Phyllis E.N. Wangwe

10:10 – 10:45 AM PDT
Stream C

Workplace Conflict: The Walls that People Build

Mediation is all about tearing down walls and building up communication. People build fortresses around themselves at work, stop all conducive conversations and begin to build an empire of conflict. The biggest complaint is that people are not being heard or understood. Most workplace conflicts do not belong in the courts. They need to be deconstructed, understood and rebuilt on healthier relationships. James Cook and Alice Shikina will discuss the nature of conflict in the workplace and the ways to deal with larger organizational turmoil and how to deconstruct those walls in order to begin to build bridges.

James Cook — John L. Burris Law, Oakland, CA
Alice Shikina — Mediator/Negotiation Coach, Shikina Mediation & Arbitration, Oakland, CA


10:50 – 11:59 AM PDT
Stream C

Borders, Barriers and Blinders—Stop Boxing It Up!

Discussion with three highly experienced mediators on the use and danger of labels such as bully, harasser, victim, perpetrator, racist, accused, trouble maker in a conflict resolution process. We’ll ask what we can learn when we move past labels and discuss how showing up as your whole self and allowing participants their full humanity improves the resolution process for you as a mediator and for the participants.

Shelina Neallani — Lawyer, Mediator, Conflict Consultant, West Vancouver
Kyra L. Hudson
 — Lawyer, Mediator, Workplace Investigator, North Vancouver
Yuki Matsuno — Lawyer, Mediator, Workplace Investigator, North Vancouver


11:25 – 11:59 AM PDT
Stream B

Gates for Fences—How I Learned to Love the Differences at the Table

During this presentation, your Favourite Uncle Jer will discuss and explore the benefits of acknowledging and highlighting differences between parties in a mediation session and its value to decision making process and agreements made. Also, along the way we’ll explore the similarities between high conflict mediation and cooking competition shows.

Jereme Brooks — Program Manager, Child Protection Mediation Program & RONIN Dispute Resolution Services, Langley


BREAK (12:00-1:00 PM PDT)


1:00 – 2:00 PM PDT
Stream A

A Conversation About Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls and 2-Spirit People

The Honourable Marion R. Buller — Anmore, BC
Chief Judge Abby Abinanti

Colleen Spier — Spier & Company Law, Victoria

1:00 – 1:40 PM PDT
Stream B

COVID-19 False Dichotomies

Dr. Kevin Escandón

1:00 – 1:55 PM PDT
Stream C

Don’t Be Another Brick in the Wall… Breaking Down Borders between Mentors and Mentees

Mentors must acknowledge that there is a border between them and their mentees. They have experience. And while they both have skills, mentees are further developing them and may lack the confidence to break down the wall. So, a mentor must be aware of the power imbalance and work through difficulties to elevate the learning experience for both the mentor and mentee.

Come watch a video with tools and tips and engage in a thoughtful discussion about mentoring and the value of deconstructing the artificial border between participants.

Julie Daum — Mediator, Fraser Lake & Northern BC
Georgina Delimari — Mediator, Victoria
Vivian A. Kerenyi — Lawyer & Mediator, Vancouver
Wendy Lakusta — Mediator, White Rock

1:50 – 2:35 PM PDT
Stream B

Moral Boundaries and Q&A

Moral Imagination as a Path to Peace: A Story of Disenfranchisement and Loss

This presentation recounts one very personal conflict with two siblings who challenged my right to vote in the 2020 US election. I am a dual US and Canadian citizen, having called Canada home for the last two decades. In 2020, I forfeited my right to vote as the most viable path to peace. While the forfeiture of my vote resolved the legal conflict, the personal conflict persists. The emotional borders have been drawn for safety. The walls are up with no will to dismantle them. As a mediator and a member of a once-upon-a-time family, I am working through the grief and the options for peace on this side of the wall.

Lori Charvat  Principal & CEO, Sandbox Consulting, Vancouver

Healing Community Divisions: Using Mediator Tools to Transform Mindsets

The idea that people must be divided on one side or the other creates harmful artificial boundaries in our communities. Boundaries between people are imaginary and socially constructed, but with real consequences that can undermine community relationships and community well-being.

Our presentation will talk about Growth Mindset versus a Fixed Mindset, the impacts of both and how we can work toward a Growth Mindset that creates positive change.  Mediation skills naturally support growth mindset. We will show how some basic mediation skills can be used to become better communicators, better listeners and how we can bring those skills to the larger community.

Ona Lawrence — MS Program Manager, Six Rivers Dispute Resolution Center, Hood River, OR
Lori Loranger — Services Coordinator, Six Rivers Dispute Resolution Center, Hood River, OR
Debra Pennington Davis, MF — Program Assistant, Six Rivers Dispute Resolution Centre, Hood River, OR

Deconstructing Moral Borders

As political lines are being drawn in new areas such as our health, families, workplaces and societies are becoming more divided. People are becoming more divided through echo-chambers, ‘cancel’ling, and protests. These moral borders result in less communication, less solution-building, and thereby less progress. This talk aims to give the audience tips on how to find common moral ground to ensure conversation stays open and respectful, even when emotions are high.

Lauren Florko, Ph.D. — Principal Consultant, Triple Threat Consulting, Vancouver

2:05– 2:35 PM PDT
Stream C

Collaborative Competencies

Collaborative governance is an approach to public policy that helps parties reach across political, cultural, social, physical, and geographical boundaries, in order to overcome conflict, seek mutual understanding and common ground, and identify areas for mutual gains. But collaboration is not easy or natural for many people. Most benefit from assistance to help increase their capacity to initiate, participate in, and/or lead collaborative public policy efforts. This fun and interactive session will review the University Network for Collaborative Governance’s Collaborative Competencies Framework, which provides an overview of the concrete skills needed to initiate and participate in collaborative approaches to public issues.

Michael Kern, MPA — Director, William D. Ruchelshaus Center/Associate Professor, Washington State University Extension/Affiliate Associate Professor, University of Washington Evans School of Public Policy & Governance, Seattle

2:10– 3:30 PM PDT
Stream A

Older Than the Crown: Overturning the Declaration of Extinction of the Sinixt People

Shelly Boyd
Derrick LaMere

2:45– 4:00 PM PDT
Stream B

Faith-based Conflict Resolution: Panel Discussion

Anne Bachle Fifer
Laura Benghal
Salim M. Hirji — Hirji Law Corporation, Vancouver
Terry S. Neiman — Quodlibet Consulting Inc., Vancouver

2:45– 4:00 PM PDT
Stream C

Preparing for a Difficult Conversation

We believe that there are some often-overlooked preparation steps. You could think of these as pre-preparation steps because they entail actions you can take prior to focusing on the actual engagement and communication with the other party: 

  • find your motivation
  • build your power
  • set it up well

By putting you in Zoom breakout room pairs or triads, and with specific instructions, we will provide you the opportunity to try out in real-time how to take these steps. We will also explain how we have been experimenting with our 8-step Difficult Conversation model to initiate culture change in organizations.

Julia Menard, M.Ed., CertConRes, PCC — Mediator, On Conflict Leadership Institute, Victoria
Gordon White, MBA — Mediator, On Conflict Leadership Institute, Victoria

5:00– 6:30 PM PDT
Stream A

Unconventional Professional Development Panel

Kelly Dermody
Dr. Clare Fowler — Executive Vice-President at Mediate.com and Faculty at University of Oregon Law School, Veneta, OR
D.A. Graham
Samantha Grant
Ann Lee
Emily H. Martin
Darsey Meredith
Lori van Niekerk

6:30 – 8:00 PM PDT
Stream A

Creating Your Faciliation Toolkit: A Mini Game Jam

Emily H. Martin
Sharon Sutherland — Mediate BC, Vancouver